“The last time I saw my son he told me he was going to shower. I have been looking for him for 4 days now.”
These were the words of an elder man to a journalist that captured his desperation as he walked the destroyed streets in Guayaquil, Ecuador. His words have resonated with me since I saw the news report a couple of days ago. Two simple statements that convey the tragic effects by the 7.8 earthquake that hit the coast of Portoviejo, Ecuador on April 17, 2016 (Martinez, Ore. Reuters, 2016).
The coast of Ecuador is underdeveloped as is and the earthquake that hit it tumbled it to pieces. Families lived in shed-like houses, with roofs made out of metal shafts and hardened mud walls. It isn’t like the center-city areas which are more developed. Buildings didn’t even come close to follow construction norms, let alone implement natural disaster regulations. Thus, making reconstruction a seriously long process and extremely costly. Fortunately, President Correa is forcing construction companies to follow construction regulations when rebuilding.
The amount of help worldwide, both in goods and volunteers has been tremendous. Mexico has sent over teams of volunteer rescuers. Argentina’s Air Force has contributed with Aircraft to transport any goods to the affected areas.
The Ecuadorian Consulate of New York has contributed tremendously, making its locations drop-off ports for New Yorkers. They have locations in NYC and Queens on their website and social media accounts. Water and canned food are the top donations. But, my people have a treacherous journey ahead of them. With the country’s efforts and external aid they will rebuild. I am asking for your efforts.
Scarce items that Ecuadorians need are:
- Medical supplies: aspirin, gauges, masks, wraps, cotton balls, gloves, etc.
- Sleeping bag/mat
- Baby & Kids: canned food, diapers, powdered milk, small toys, etc.
- Personal Hygiene: tooth paste, tooth brush, toiletry, soap, etc.
I am collecting any of the items listed above. If you are able to contribute with any donations, and are located in the NYC area, please contact me. Everything counts! ♡